What do you look for in a hotel interior? A calming color scheme? Crisp white sheets?
Or what about wallpaper festooned with sausages, bratwurst-shaped cushions and IRL sausages hanging from hooks on the wall?
Welcome to Boebel Bratwurst Bed and Breakfast, in the small village of Rittersbach near Nuremberg, Germany, which lays claim to being the world’s first sausage hotel.
Many – including, but not limited to, vegetarians and vegans – might rather not know how the sausage gets made. But for those curious about this meaty motel, proprietor Claus Boebel filled CNN Travel in on the in(nards) and outs of his unusual inn.
Boebel, 48, is a fourth-generation German butcher and the sausage-themed hotel is adjacent to his family’s butcher’s shop, in an converted barn.
Boebel lives next door, with his wife and two daughters – and says he decided to open the seven-room hotel in celebration of his favorite German dish.
“I like to travel around the world – and when I travel around the world, I like different foods, food culture,” Boebel tells CNN Travel.
“And I thought: ‘Why only abroad?’ I made a place where people meet in Bavaria in my home and eat typical food and connect together.”
But how did this all-encompassing theme come about? What prompted the psychedelic sausage wallpaper?
“I designed this hotel,” says Boebel. “I would like it when I am on holidays. I like not only a normal hotel with white walls, water and electricity […] I like a special experience, a nice design-themed hotel.”
It’s pretty out there – but maybe Boebel is onto something: Experience-led travel is, after all, currently one of tourism’s hottest trends. By his own admission, Boebel’s hometown is “not spectacular” and wasn’t necessarily on the tourist trail before his hotel opened its doors.
“It’s not a castle, it’s not a touristic site – but there is a hotel,” he says.
“I want to bring tourists from all over the world to Rittersbach, my home village.”
Boebel Bratwurst Bed and Breakfast opened in September 2018 and Boebel says he’s already had guests visit the hotel from across the world:
“In the first four months, I have people from China, Japan, Nigeria, France, Italy, Sweden [and] Spain,” he says.
Apparently, most of the guests book after seeing photographs of the hotel online and Boebel says he’s never had any guests be disappointed, or disturbed, by the decor:
“People who don’t enjoy this don’t book,” says Boebel. “Because they see many pictures on the Internet before.”
There aren’t just “decorative” sausages in the hotel – there are plenty of bratwurst for you to eat too. In the on-site restaurant, guests can enjoy Boebel’s specialty sausages and take cooking courses.
“I called it ‘Wurst-arant’ – because I serve only bratwurst in this restaurant in many different styles,” says the hotelier.
“I serve not steaks with onions – I serve bratwurst with onions. I serve not the German schnitzel, I serve bratwurst schnitzel. I serve many different styles of bratwurst with chili, with horseradish, or with chocolate or coffee inside.”
Boebel says he’s not worried about his business being impact by a general move towards vegetarianism – or flexitarianism.
For one, he says that in smaller villages in Germany, meat-eating remains the norm.
Plus – despite the extremity of his hotel design – his main message, as a butcher, is quality over quantity.
“I have no problems at all the people eat less meat, if they buy it in local butcher shops and not in large supermarkets,” he says.
Despite global press coverage and interest from travelers worldwide, Boebel has no interest in expanding his business or franchising.
“I want to be the owner who talks with his guests and not only just the operator who want to earn money,” he says.
Plus, he’s content with his current set-up.
“If the seven rooms are fully booked I earn enough money. I cannot eat more than two sausages each lunch or dinner, even if I have double or more beds. For me, it’s not a better life if I have more beds.”